Our Founder


Bill Matthews, Sr., founder and president of Business Equipment Center, began his career in the office machine industry selling Remington Rand typewriters in 1947 out of Houston, TX. During 24 years with the company, Bill served as a branch manager in Kansas City, regional manager in Chicago, and national director of marketing out of New York and Pennsylvania. Armed with expertise and excited by the new technologies, Bill set a personal goal to stay ahead of the future. He established his own company in 1971 in Memphis, Tennessee representing several product lines and manufacturers.

In 1983, with a solid BEC customer base established, Bill further committed himself to challenge. Construction began for a building designed as a retail store environment where customers could come in to view and operate a wide variety of office machine products. One of these products was a small SHARP Electronics calculator. When SHARP began manufacturing copiers, BEC was approached for dealership. Bill wasted no time traveling to Japan where he studied and developed the marketing strategy that would result in a long and successful association with SHARP. Through the years the company has received the highest awards in the industry due to customer loyalty.

As a member of the National Office Machine Dealer Association, Mr. Matthews initiated and accomplished strategic goals. He co-authored the national and international partnering codes entered into Congressional Records for dealers and manufacturers. NOMDA presented the Dealer of the Year Award to Bill in 1982. He served as president in 1987. In 1980, Bill served as president of Sales and Marketing Executives, Inc. of Memphis.

In 1987, he received the Small Business Executive of the Year Award with the support of the Memphis Business Journal and endorsements by both City and County Leaders.

SHARP Electronics has honored BEC in numerous ways over the years. Bill served on Sharp’s Copier Dealer Advisory Council. The most prestigious status of Platinum Dealership was achieved in 1992. As a long time member of the Memphis South Rotary Club, he was honored in 1999 for his dedication and leadership. The Boy Scouts organizations also enjoy Bill’s interest and support.